Robert M Hochmuth


Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Dr. Hochmuth applied the principles of thermodynamics, and solid and fluid mechanics, to biological problems. In particular, he and his colleagues characterized and measured the elastic, viscous and adhesive properties of human red cells and white cells, especially neutrophils. In this work, individual cells were mechanically manipulated with a micropipette. Small suction pressures on the order of 0.1 pN/┬Ám2 and detachment forces on the order of 10 pN were imposed on a cell and displacements at the cellular boundaries as small as 50 nm were measured. His final work before he retired focused on stretching the individual microvilli that exist on the surface of neutrophils, on extracting receptors from the cell's membrane and on measuring the forces of attachment between individual receptors and their antibodies.

Professor Hochmuth became an emeritus professor in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and Biomedical Engineering, on September 1, 2004.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Contact Information

  • Office Location: B217 Lev Sci Res Ctr, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-5310
  • Email Address:


  • Ph.D. Brown University, 1967
  • M.S. Ohio State University, 1962
  • B.S. University of Colorado - Denver, 1961

Representative Publications

  • Waugh, RE; Hochmuth, RM, Mechanics and deformability of hematocytes (2014) [10.1201/b15575] [abs].
  • Marcus, WD; Hochmuth, RM, Experimental studies of membrane tethers formed from human neutrophils., Annals of Biomedical Engineering, vol 30 no. 10 (2002), pp. 1273-1280 [10.1114/1.1528614] [abs].
  • Hochmuth, RM; Marcus, WD, Membrane tethers formed from blood cells with available area and determination of their adhesion energy., Biophysical Journal, vol 82 no. 6 (2002), pp. 2964-2969 [10.1016/s0006-3495(02)75637-3] [abs].
  • Levin, JD; Ting-Beall, HP; Hochmuth, RM, Correlating the kinetics of cytokine-induced E-selectin adhesion and expression on endothelial cells., Biophysical Journal, vol 80 no. 2 (2001), pp. 656-667 [10.1016/s0006-3495(01)76046-8] [abs].
  • Albarran, B; Ting-Beall, HP; Zhelev, DV; Hochmuth, RM, Effect of membrane area expansion on the cortical tension of human neutrophils, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, vol 28 no. SUPPL. 1 (2000) [abs].